by McGlumphy, Barry E.

Abstract (Summary)
Online learning (web-based education) continues to have a significant impact on higher education. Increasingly, students seek fully online programs in a broad range of disciplines at the undergraduate and graduate levels. College faculty have produced increasingly more research focusing on how to teach online, including best practices and appropriate web-based course pedagogy. Faculty and college administrators regularly discuss what curricula is appropriate for online learning versus what curricula does not adapt well into online courses. This is especially true for course content in the psychomotor domain which is typically taught in live lab-based courses and traditional hands-on focused classroom presentations. A few of the significant challenges for instructors teaching psychomotor skills in the online course environment include: how to appropriately assess student learning of hands-on skills, how to confirm psychomotor skill acquisition, and how to verify the student can teach the skills to other individuals. This research provides a qualitative focus within a problem solving case study that introduces a possible solution for assessing fitness assessment and exercise training techniques learned in a web-based course. This paper presents background information on the use of web-based learning in the general sphere of higher education and outlines the current range of online education courses in fitness, exercise science, health, and wellness education. This inquiry focuses on a case study analysis exploring the utilization of webcam videos as new assessment tools implemented in a fully web-based course, PRF 711: An Integrated Approach to Fitness and Wellness, offered in an Exercise Science and Health Promotion Graduate Program at California University of Pennsylvania. The web-based graduate program offers several psychomotor skill based courses, recently developed at the University. The research results are analyzed supported by survey data, mining data from assessment documents, online classroom observation, and interviews of several students, the instructor, and three subject matter professionals. One goal of this study was to identify the entry-level technology skills, professional experience, client accessibility, and confidence with technology of students enrolled in the PRF 711 course. Another goal was to analyze the experiences and feedback of five students, who used webcams to submit online video/audio course assignments focused on hands-on content in the psychomotor domain, more specifically, fitness assessment and exercise activities. The five students were asked to describe experiences, suggestions, and questions regarding the processes and protocols used during video set-up, video recording, project submission, and instructor feedback. An additional goal was to analyze the experiences of the instructor who implemented the video project protocols, evaluated student video projects, and faux-graded student performance. The study also analyzed interview data collected from a variety of stakeholders who made observations and suggestions regarding the video assessment protocol, the assessment instruments, as well provided feedback at the end of the course regarding summative evaluation of the video assessment intervention. The stakeholders interviewed included the Director of Training and, the Director of Content Development for the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), who were jointly responsible for designing much of the curriculum used in the PRF 711: An Integrated Approach to Fitness and Wellness course. Additionally, feedback and insight were analyzed from an instructional designer. Constant comparison of stakeholder feedback and analytic induction were used to organize and categorize the data. Study results show that the new webcam video assessment protocol is a viable solution for assessing hands-on skills in the PRF 711 online course. Several challenges, issues, and solutions are addressed. The study results will be used at California University of Pennsylvania to enhance assessment protocols using webcam videos in courses that require the learning of hands-on and psychomotor skills. The study results may also be used as a conceptual framework to examine how web-based courses in several disciplines, with a significant amount of psychomotor objectives, could include online video assessment techniques. The implications of this research for healthcare/fitness educators, students, college administrators, and instructional designers is reviewed in the discussion. Suggestions for areas of further research and future practice are included.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Dr. Louis H. Berry; Dr. Diane Davis; Dr. Elizabeth Nagle; Dr. Noreen Garman

School:University of Pittsburgh

School Location:USA - Pennsylvania

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:instruction and learning


Date of Publication:06/30/2008

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